If you’re looking for a more ecologically friendly way to heat up your water in your house or if you want to save some money, you should ask a plumber about solar water heaters. There are several different types of solar water heaters and some of them might work for your home; only a professional will be able to tell you which one might be right for you. Here’s a rundown of a few options.
The simplest solution is just a solar panel on your roof that connects to an electrical circuit. If you have an electric water heater, you could install a solar panel to power the water heater. That will take minimal effort and minimal rewiring. It’s not as efficient as some of the other options, but just about anyone can have it done. They work fairly reliably even on cloudy days.
A direct solar water heater is one in which the water is heated up directly by the sun. The water is either passed through a tube exposed to sunlight and then stored in a tank or the tank is directly exposed to sunlight. The tanks are typically optimized to collect heat and then they’re surrounded by another wall. Between the walls is a vacuum, so very little heat escapes. These are very efficient systems, but you need enough space in your attic or on the roof to have one installed. If that’s not an option, you might be able to install an indirect heating system.
An indirect system works a lot like the radiator in your car. A liquid is passed through pipes. The pipes are exposed to the sun and heated. The liquid then travels through the pipes and comes in contact with the water. The water absorbs the heat from the pipes. The liquid returns to be exposed to the sun again, gather more heat, and come back to the water. These systems are ideal for people who do not have space enough for a water heater on the roof.
An active system works something like the indirect system except it pumps the actual water through the tanks to be exposed to the sunlight. These are some of the most common systems in the United States. In many cases, an active system can be paired with your existing water heater. For example, if you can expose the water to the sun to be heated to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it will make it much easier for your water heater to bring the water up to temperature.
Questions about solar water heaters? Give your Oakland plumber a call today. Beastbay Plumbing will help you determine if this is a good choice for your situation!